Multistakeholder table game developing local energy and climate plans through citizen sessions.
Goeree-Overflakkee, the Netherlands
3 Sessions with over 20 technical experts and 40 residents
The Municipality of Goeree-Overflakkee is working together with the residents of Ooltgensplaat on a climate sketch for the settlement. In the coming years, the sketch will develop into a joint Climate Plan, developed with residents [building owners and tenants], the Oost West Wonen housing association, the Stedin network operator, the Hollandse Delta water board, the Goeree-Overflakke Energieloket and future stakeholders.
After the initial test session this article was published, with the co-thinkers on 28 September 2021 and processing their feedback, the game method has reached its final form, modified and improved for the use of residents in Ooltgensplaat. On Wednesday 27 October 2021, two work sessions were organized at the Multifunctional Center Ooltgensplaat with around 50 participants.
Among the energy transition actions, the most repeated proposals were solar panels on roofs [not on meadows], thermal insulation and aqua-thermal heating. With the request/proposal of the housing corporation to fill all possible roofs with solar panels and to send the generated energy to the electricity grid, a new idea was born.
Participants wondered whether it would be worth joining a large-scale cooperative and collecting all the energy generated by roof panels in the settlement. The municipality responded that they had the in-house expertise to investigate this proposal. City’s experts will calculate and communicate this scenario for Ooltgensplaat, both in terms of potential energy capacity and costs.
In both sessions it became clear that heat insulation is mandatory for households in order to be able to use low and medium heat sources. Here participants asked whether the municipality could help with coordinating collective insulation of homes via the ‘energy counter’ infrastructure.
Due to the availability of running water around the built-up area in Ooltgensplaat, several participants wondered whether aquathermal heating could be a valid solution. The municipality responded to this search that according to their initial diagnosis this could be a relevant scenario, thus worth further financial and technical investigation.
A farmer company present in both sessions shared that they were seriously considering building a biogas plant to provide energy for about 500 households in Ooltgensplaat. This solution can especially help old houses where thermal insulation becomes technically difficult. There were also proposals such as hydrogen as an energy source or basalt in the ground as heat storage. The experts present did not immediately react enthusiastically about these technically complex solutions. City reactions here was that the storage of generated heat and electricity need to be further developed.
Finally, a combined energy solution for Ooltgensplaat consisting of solar panels, aqua-thermal energy and biogas will be further researched in terms of energy capacity and costs.
Among the water actions, the most frequently mentioned action was the permeable tiles and parking surfacing to collect rainwater during sudden and intense rainfall as an effective measure of climate adaptation. An unexpected contribution from citizens were the "cisterns" of historic buildings. These 'water wells', which were used a hundred years ago as a high-tech solution for in-house running water systems, could become relevant again. Some participants wondered whether these basins could also be used to facilitate a water heat pump, in addition to collecting rainwater. The municipality wants to investigate this option further technically.
Among green actions, the most frequently mentioned idea was sedum roofs combined with solar panels. Planting trees for shade against the heat island effect, for example, the multi-functional center is also a repeated proposal. An outstanding outcome for both sessions was planting trees and/or food forests around the Fort and old swimming pool. This may be a shared idea among residents of Ooltgensplaat as other present participants responded very positively. City’s landscape department promised to look further into these proposals and come back with concrete responses.
During the play sessions, participants raised the question of 'who is going to pay for given climate action?'. Further research into joint investments can clarify and facilitate collective actions of residents and their collaboration with the city or private companies.
In the coming period, the municipality will make a cost-benefit analysis for the most common proposals that can be implemented collectively. In addition to actions that the municipality can carry out, participants mentioned that private smaller enterprises they can undertake, such as replacing concrete tiles in private gardens.